Christmas Gifts for Foodies: Missed the delivery deadline?

Christmas is now 5 days away – and if you’ve been super organised you’re all set!   However, many online retailers now don’t guarantee delivery by Christmas unless you upgrade to next-day delivery.  If you don’t want to face the high street, or pay over the odds for delivery (which may still fail – the number of stories I’ve heard!), or if you’re reading this on Christmas Eve itself, you still have options for Christmas gifts for the foodies in your life.

Get to a supermarket for your ingredients and spend an afternoon making some presents (here are some suggestions from another post). This year the hamper for my immediate family is going to consist of:

  1. Pru Leith’s Gingerbread (a staple every year),
  2. Ginger & Lemon Cordial,
  3. Triple Choc Chip Cookies,
  4. foie gras (this year I’m doing this spiced recipe which goes well with toasted slices of gingerbread, as well as doing my staple fig and port version – recipe to come),
  5. and possibly… nougat (I’ve heard it is a tricky thing to make, so we’ll see if it makes it in to the hamper!).

The other alternative is to buy a voucher – the bonus here is that these can frequently be printed immediately so you can get these right up to the last minute.  This also means that the recipient can not only choose their preferred things, but can generally take advantage of the January sales, so making your money go further!  Some ideas especially for foodies include:

Beat the Christmas Bulge

I’ve been planning my Christmas food this last week – and having concerns over how much high-calorie food there will be in the house which may prove disastrous to my weight management goals.  However, in the interests of preventing the average weight gain of 2kg (or 5lbs in old money), I’ve put together a list of my top tips to help bolster your intentions.

  1. Use smaller plates – studies have found that eating from a smaller plate makes us feel more satisfied than the same amount on a larger one.  Coming from a generation of children who were taught to clean the plate otherwise there would be no pudding, I’m very used to getting through everything on the plate I’m given.
  2. Don’t pile things high – especially when there is a buffet!  I’m guilty of piling things high on occasion – and mostly it is because I didn’t look at all the things available when I’m serving myself – so completely misjudging how much space there is on the plate and how many dishes there are to try out.  Start small, then go back for seconds if there are any left… (or you can do what some people do and have a good look at everything on display before joining the queue so you know what you want to save some space for).
  3. Plan ahead – try to plan in some lighter meals amongst the overly rich meals that may be on offer this season.  I’ve got some hot winter salads planned around the necessary ham, goose and beef days…  (I’m also thinking about doing some Gazpacho – my version is effectively an intense salad puree which I seem to crave to offset all the fat and starch around this time of year).
  4. Exercise – if all else fails, find some high-intensity workouts (at your appropriate fitness level of course) to offset the intake.  I am fond of kickboxing workouts as they seem to work well for me, but there is an interesting trend of 1000 calorie workouts – here’s one on youtube which I might try – which would make you feel all saintly again!
  5. Watch the booze – empty calories and hangovers!  I tend to volunteer to be the driver so I don’t look like a wimp because I don’t want to drink very much – I resent the wasted calories and get horrendous hangovers these days so feel rubbish the entire next day.  I also think that when I’m not allowed very much (perhaps one glass with lunch) I enjoy it more.